Educational Resources | mar. 7, 2022

Draft Cocktail Training Videos & Recipes

A draft system presents a stylish and fine-tuned way of serving delicious balanced cocktails in rapid succession. With many bars beginning to bring draft cocktails to their menus, we wanted to bring some tips and tricks by way of our draft cocktail expert, Egor Polonskiy.

Through this brief Q&A and a collection of videos, we’ve outlined the types of accounts that will benefit from setting up their own system, what to avoid, and how to troubleshoot in case things go awry.

While draft cocktails open up a wide array of new and classic flavor possibilities, there are some combinations that aren’t recommended if you’d like to keep your system long term. Let Egor walk you through some of the learnings he’s come across as he’s built, modified, and ultimately perfected the draft cocktail.

Q&A with Egor Polonskiy:

How do you think draft cocktails will be embraced in 2022 and beyond?

I think draft cocktails will be more popular this year than ever. Consider that the two main benefits of cocktails on draft are speed and consistency. With many bars and restaurants struggling with staffing, cocktails on draft could be a useful tool and solution to keep bar programs running and delivering high quality drinks. Beyond that, there are plenty of innovations and new technology coming to the space that will further solidify draft cocktails as important this year and for many years to come.

How do you recommend folks new to draft cocktails approach learning about and implementing them?

I recommend starting off by reading about the foundational elements and key functions of draft systems to understand the system from the ground up. Watching videos (like ours, linked below!) will be extremely helpful for seeing real life examples and set ups from different bars. The next step I’d recommend is going to a bar near you that already has a draft cocktail system running, and learning from them. It’s very likely they’ll be open to answering questions and pointing you in the right direction. After that I recommend getting all the equipment and a couple of smaller test kegs to play with before you move to a full on draft cocktail program.

What type of bars do you recommend utilize draft cocktails?

There is no such a thing as a single use case here. Whether you are focused on speed or you want to have something like a more compliex Milk Punch on draft, the possible application of draft cocktails is very diverse. Ideally, the bar should have a high rate of volume to move through the kegs at a decent rate, so product stays fresh.

What types of cocktails should be avoided when putting together draft cocktails?

The rule of thumb is if a drink separates in a few minutes, don’t put it on draft. That means things like heavy fruit purees and dairy are a no-go.

What types of cocktails do best on draft?

The cocktails that do best are those along the line of spirit + house made soda.” Think about tequila and house made grapefruit soda or gin and house made tea soda or bourbon and carrot-ginger beer. Those drinks are cool, crowd pleasing and are best for draft systems. Something that has a many steps of preparation but is very popular could be great on draft as well, like a clarified milk punch.

How difficult is it to maintain a draft cocktail system?

It is not difficult. You need to keep it clean (ideally you would use the same company that cleans your draft beer lines) and change the lines/​parts that are under the most frequent stress somewhat regularly. Just check in on the system daily to ensure it’s functioning and clean, and you’re setting yourself up for success.

How frequently should kegs be cleaned?

Kegs should be cleaned after each time you empty them. That’s something you don’t want to skip for the sake of cleanliness, freshness and flavor.

Any tips for inventory purposes?

Have a backup keg of every drink sitting in your cooler and ready to roll. Once the original is empty, clean and dry the keg and batch a new drink in there so it gets cold and carbonated on time.

We hope these findings will result in a delicious and profitable addition to your home or bar program, and that you feel confident in getting started. Our expert team is available through here or our Instagram @academia_patron for additional tips, tricks, or recipes. Make sure to tag us in any draft concoctions along the way so that we may share and inspire others.